Video: Money talks in 2012 race

  1. Closed captioning of: Money talks in 2012 race

    >>> as the presidential campaign heats up, today was the deadline for the candidates to report on their fundraising for the last three months. beyond their messages, the race for money will largely determine how far the candidates can go. nbc's mike viquera reports.

    >> reporter: they say money isn't everything. but in politics it can be.

    >> we raised about $2.8 million.

    >> reporter: that's why new gop frontrunner herman cain went to tennessee.

    >> we're going to have a million dollar --

    >> reporter: in the first big d disclosure day, cain 's numbers are coming up front. rick perry reports he took in about $17 million and has $15 million in cash on hand. behind is mitt romney , he raised over 14 million with about the same amount in the bank. then ron paul who raised 8.2. after that a big dropoff to cain 's 2.8. the totals are one important sign of a campaign's health and staying power . experts say the surging cain , who lacks the big organization and has refused to even name key advisors, must raise his money game as the first primaries approach.

    >> for him to be able to compete for a long period of time, he's going to have to raise a considerable amount more money to be able to fund an organization and to be able to fund those later tv ads.

    >> reporter: with the democratic field all to himself, president obama 's take dwarfs the gop contenders raking in 42 million for his campaign over the past three months. with more than 61 million in his war chest , experts say in the end it will be the costliest campaign ever.

    >> one of the advantage es the president has is the ability to raise money . i don't know if he'll get to 1 billion but he'll have plenty of money to spend to fight the republican nominated against him.

    >> reporter: one other gop contender michele bachmann divulged her numbers. about a million ahead of herman cain . one other aspect of this, lester, this year the so-called superpac skrkz, president obama has one. many times they don't have to disclose their donors. some people expect them to match the candidates dollar for dollar in their spending. it adds a whole new dimension to this presidential race as well with a lot more money. lester?

Image: GOP Presidential Candidates Debate In Orlando Ahead Of Florida Straw Poll
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Republican presidential candidates, Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney listens in the Fox News/Google GOP Debate at the Orange County Convention Center on Sept. 22, in Orlando, Fla.
By
updated 10/15/2011 3:44:31 PM ET 2011-10-15T19:44:31

With just over a year left in the race for the White House, campaign finance reports released Saturday offered the first major picture into the haves and the have-nots among the Republican presidential candidates.

Two of the top Republican contenders, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, have brought in more than $30 million combined. Meanwhile, candidates like former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and businessman Herman Cain have raised significantly less than that.

The financial reports detail how flush the GOP candidates are with cash — or how nearly broke they are — heading into the final weeks before contests in key primary states.

Reports on two of the biggest money-raisers so far — Romney and President Barack Obama — reveal millions in contributions from party devotees and small-dollar donors alike.

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At the same time, reports filed late Friday offered a mixed picture of the campaign field, with Obama raising more than $70 million between his campaign and the Democratic Party. Some candidates are saddled with debt, such as former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and former candidate Tim Pawlenty, who both owe hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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Texas Rep. Ron Paul, a favorite of libertarians, collected $8.2 million and spent $7.5 million during the period. His campaign ended September with $3.6 million in the bank and no debt.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum reported raising more than $700,000 during the quarter and spent nearly $750,000. His campaign had about $190,000 in the bank and about $70,000 in debt.

The new reports also give a glimpse into where money has been spent since July and if the candidate took out any loans to finance what is likely to become a costly presidential election.

Businessman Herman Cain's report said he raised $2.8 million and spent $1.9 million through Sept. 30, ending the period with $1.3 million in the bank. Through the end of September, Cain has loaned his campaign $675,000, with most of it taken out during the spring.

Story: TV battleground: GOP campaigns prepare for ad war

For Romney, more cash meant more flexibility in travel. He spent about $240,000 in private jets, although he has tweeted in the past about flying commercial on low-cost air carrier Southwest Airlines.

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, who is expected to have raised at least $4 million, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich have until 11:59 p.m. EDT Saturday to file their first presidential campaign reports with the Federal Election Commission.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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